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Do more people in the U.S. die from drug overdoses, motor vehicle accidents, or firearm accidents, homicides, and suicides?

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A total of 67,367 drug overdose deaths were recorded in the U.S. during 2018. This compares to 40,231 motor vehicle deaths and 39,773 firearm-related deaths in 2017. From 1999 to 2018, the age-adjusted drug overdose death rate grew by 3.4 times. Contrary to those who claimed that legalizing marijuana would reduce such deaths, a 2019 paper in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that states that enacted medical or recreational cannabis laws had about the same or greater increases in opioid deaths during 1999-2017 than states that did not. Likewise, a 2017 paper in the American Journal of Psychiatry found that "cannabis use appears to increase rather than decrease the risk of developing nonmedical prescription opioid use and opioid use disorder."

DocumentationOverdose DeathsGun & Vehicle Deaths2019 Paper2017 Paper




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